Best part of the song is the organ intro.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Linfield’s Ed Langsdorf and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway have more in common than just football.
Ed, a former head and assistant football coach at Linfield, earned a master's degree (1969, physical education) at WSU, alma mater of his wife, Jan, and her parents.
And, John Elway (photo, above right)? He attended and was an athlete for 7th and 8th grades at
John's father, WSU grad/former WSU quarterback Jack Elway, was an assistant football coach at Washington State before the Elways left Pullman for California. There, John was a quarterback in high school (graduated from
So, did Ed coach John in football while both were in
Based on a review of dates when Langsford and the Elways were in
But, back to John Elway. When you read biographies about him, his time in
For the record,
What may have been the first time John’s name was in print was in the
In Missoula in 1970 as a sixth grader, John ran for either six or four touchdowns -- reports differ about the exact number -- in the first half in the first football game in which he played.
In Pullman, he competed on 7th and 8th grade teams at Lincoln. Immediately before John arrived in
While glimmers of the football player John Elway was to become appear in the Herald (see below), if you didn’t know you’d guess he went on to become an outstanding basketball player. If that had happened, George Raveling, former WSU men’s basketball coach, would have been right.
From sixth to ninth grade Elway took part in Raveling's summer Cougar Cage Camps at WSU. Raveling envisioned Elway being a great basketball player.
But, Jack envisioned his son being a great quarterback in football. However, John thought his best position was running back. “…Jack had to convince him that his best position was quarterback, not halfback,” said one story.
Pullman Herald articles which mention John Elway when he lived/went to school in Pullman include:
Feb 17, 1972- “Elway Added.” Jack Elway hired as a WSU football assistant coach. “The Elways have three children: Lee Ann, 13, and twins John Jr., and Jana, 11.”
Sept 25, 1975-“Pullman frosh drop verdict late in game.” Rushing for Pullman High School frosh football team in game with Sacajawea (of Lewiston, Idaho) included “John Elway minus three yards.” Pullman lost 8-6.
Oct 2, 1975-“Orofino next ‘Hounds frosh fall.” Pullman High frosh football team (lost 20-6) rushing stats included John Elway 14 yards.
Oct 9, 1975-“Defense fails Pullman frosh fall.” PHS frosh football team lost 18-6 to Orofino (Idaho). “John Elway set up Pullman’s lone touchdown on a 50-yard run….Elway was 0-2 in passing.
Oct 16, 1975-“Frosh squad wins again.” Story lead: “Pullman’s John Elway game Jenifer of Lewiston a one-man show in the first half as the Pullman High freshman football squad ran to a 34-6 victory.” Story includes, “Elway scored on a five-yard run in the first quarter and then on a 26-yard romp in the second.” Also, “Brent Meyer had Pullman’s lone reception from Elway for 43 yards.”
Oct 30, 1975-“Frosh close season by blitzing Moscow.” Story lead: “John Elway scored a pair of touchdowns and passed for another as the Pullman High School freosh walked to a 34-12 football victory over Moscow High School last week.” Story includes: “Elway scored on runs of five and one yard and passed 13 yards to Ed Rhon for another….” In the first quarter, after a punt block, “Pullman quickly moved it in with Elway breaking for the five-yard score.” Early in the second quarter, “Elway gave Pullman an 18-0 lead…on a one-yard plunge.” Game stats included “Elway was four for seven for 39 yards in the passing department” and gained 14 yards rushing.
Nov 20, 1975-“Frosh defense does the impossible…” In its 3-3-1 season, Pullman High frosh football team shut out all of its opponets in the first quarter. Season stats included John Elway gaining 197 net yards. Story includes, “Pullman wasn’t noted for its passing attack” and “Elway, who passed for 87 yards, averaged 29.1 yards per kick in the punting department on 10 boots.”
Dec 11, 1975-“Big third quarter lifts PHS frosh to a 62-41 victory.” Pullman boys’ frosh football team beat Moscow 62-41. John Elway scored 10 points.
Dec 18, 1975-“John Elway cans 47 points as frosh beat Dogs, Bantams.” Story lead: “John Elway pumped in 47 points last weekend to lead the Pullman High School frosh to two victories.” In the game, “Elway, hitting from all angles, had 21” points and 15 rebounds against the Clarkston Bantams. Against the Colfax Bulldogs, Elway scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to bring Pullman from behind.
Dec 25, 1975-“Frosh suffer first setback.” Prior to a two week winter break, Pullman High School freshman boys’ basketball team lost to Colfax 60-57 in overtime. John Elway scored 27 points. In another game in the same week, Pullman beat Sacajawea in Lewiston, 47-39. Elway scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds.
Jan 22, 1976-“PHS Frosh roll.” John Elway scored 23 points as the PHS freshman boys’ basketball team 62-36.
Feb 5, 1976-“Elway paces PHS frosh in sweep.” He had 21 points in a 52-47 win over Sacajawea and 28 points in a 75-41 over Moscow. Story includes, “The 5-7 Elway is averaging 21.0 points per game.”
Feb 19, 1976-“PHS frosh win 11th straight.” PHS boys’ freshman basketball team beat Jenifer of Lewiston, 47-28. Story includes, “John Elway led Pullman once again. The 5-7 Elway hit 26 points. Elway is averaging 23.1 points per game on the season and has scored 26 points or more in each of Pullman’s last three games.”
Feb 26, 1976-“Record breaking frosh finish season 17-1.” The Pullman High School boys’ freshman basketball team closed its season as the best Pullman ninth grade team in history…Pullman beat Orofino 56-36 (John Elway 18 points) and Moscow 86-45 (24 points).
May 18, 1976-“Pitchers hold key to Hounds’ season.” Preview for Pullman High School baseball season includes “…with freshman John Elway getting a look at both shortstop and second base.”
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Photo of a Linfield Wildcats button, provided by a Linfield grad who attended Linfield 1966-1970.
Elmer C. Fricke served as Linfield Athletic Ticket manager before Joan Rutschman took over the duties. Of Mr. Fricke, Mrs. Rutschman said, he was “very helpful, very good.” And, there's another Linfield Athletics connection with the Fricke family. For many years, Print Northwest of McMinnville has printed the award-winning Linfield football media guide. Owner/operator of the firm is Mr. Fricke’s son, Eric Fricke, Linfield Class of 1980.
Published Feb.22, 2007, McMinnville News-Register
Services for Elmer C. Fricke of McMinnville will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at McMinnville First Baptist Church. The Rev. Kent Harrop will officiate.
Private family interment will be conducted at the Evergreen Memorial Park mausoleum. Arrangements are under the direction of Macy & Son Funeral Directors, which will be open for visitation from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 22-23.
Mr. Fricke died Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007, at the Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville. He was 86.
Born Nov. 4, 1920, in Chicago, he was the son of Charles Henry and Anna (Deitrich Fricke. He worked as a draftsman for the City of Chicago while attending the Illinois Institute of Technology. He served as a medic in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He came to McMinnville to attend Linfield College, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1953. He received his master's degree from the University of Michigan the following year.
He married Myrtle Miller on Oct. 20, 1956, in Berlin, Ohio. They came to Oregon so he could work on his doctorate at Oregon State University.
He taught at Linfield for 28 years, serving as a professor of mathematics and computer science. He established Linfield's computer science program. He also owned and managed the Walnut City Mobile Lodge.
Mr. Fricke was a co-founder of Gallery Theater. He served on the McMinnville School Board and the Yamhill Education Service District Board. He was a member of the McMinnville Kiwanis Club and McMinnville First Baptist Church.
At the church, he served as treasurer and sang in the choir. He also played a leadership role in Pioneer Pantry, a lunch program for seniors.
The X’s and O’s don’t even being to tell you about this Wildcat giantJump head--
Ad: Willamette Valley native born in Hillsboro
Rutschman proves ‘nice guys’ do finish first
Just winning was never Ad’s only goal
Three years ago, in the aftermath of a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Jim Winston would lie in a Los Angeles hospital bed and think back to his football days at Linfield College. Back to playing on the 1982 NAIA Division II championship team. But, mostly, back to his coach, Ad Rutschman.
“Tomorrow, you will face adversity on every single play,” Rutschman would often tell his players on the eve of games. “How you react to that adversity will determine who wins. It will be that way tomorrow, five years from now – every single day of your life.”
Rutschman speeches no longer resound beneath Memorial Stadium this fall: after 24 years, he retired as football coach prior to the 1992 season. But Rutschman leaves behind one of the premiere small college programs in the country - the Wildcats have the longest consecutive string of winning seasons, 37, among the 669 National College Athletic Association and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools with football programs - his legacy runs deeper.
“In theory, all colleges talk about teaching values and building character,” says Mike Riley, a former Rutschman assistant coach, who was the Wildcats’ defensive coordinator before leaving for the Canadian Football League after the 1982 championship season. “But at Linfield it’s actually done.”
Within days of Winston’s accident, Rutschman was on the telephone to his starting defensive tackle on the 1982 championship team, encouraging him not to quit.
“I’ve never forgotten how he told the team that self pity leads to self destruction,” says Winston, who works on the television series "Golden Girls" and recently got married.
For Rutschman, 61, the game always meant more than X’s and O’s and W’s and L’s.
Oh, he knew his football.
“He’s the finest teacher of sports technique I’ve ever been around,” says Riley, who played for the late Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama, twice coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the Canadian Football League Grey Cup title and is now an assistant coach under head coach John Robinson at USC. Riley was head coach of the San Antonio Riders of the defunct World League before joining Robinson’s staff.
And Rutschman knew how to win. His Wildcat teams won national championships with unbeaten seasons in 1982, 1984 and 1986, finished among the top 25 ranked teams every year but once since 1972 and never had a losing season. But, what Rutschman loved most about coaching was being the professor of a 100-yard classroom whose students, he knew, would soon face of test stuff than any nickel defense; life as an adult.
"Getting letters from my former players who have found success in life is more important to me than winning three national championships," says Rutschman. “I found that if you can change someone’s personal attitude, it might just change their entire life.”
Born in Hillsboro, Rutschman has lived his entire life in a 30 mile niche of the Willamette Valley. He met his wife of 40 years, Joan, at Hillsboro High School. Later at Linfield he earned 12 letters, was a Little All American on the football field and set school rushing records. His career rushing record still stands.
Rutschman passed up 3 offers from professional football and baseball teams to coach at his high school alma mater.
Then, after 14 years, he moved to McMinnville, where he first coached the Wildcat football and baseball teams. His 1971 Linfield baseball team won the national championship. Coupled with his football championships, Rutschman is the only collegiate coach to win national championships in both sports.
Rutschman’s coaching philosophy was an uncommon blend of hard nose and soft heart. He told players that if they got beat it was their fault. He demanded that when Wildcat coaches went to clinics, they sit in the font row.
In 1973, running back Drake Conti arrived at Linfield from San Fernando, Calif. With a knife in his pocket and what Rutschman perceived to be a chip on his shoulder. But, when Conti showed an interest in clothes design, Rutschman didn’t dampen the young man’s enthusiasm. Instead, he allowed Conti to spruce up the Wildcats’ game pants with stripes. Conti became a Northwest Conference all star and after college designed the uniforms for the 1980 U.S. Winter Olympic bobsled and luge teams before becoming a product developer and designer for Levi Strauss in San Francisco.
Rutschman hated excuses, cheap shots and big egos.
If you have to tell the world you’re great, you’re probably not, he says.
Rutschman preached ethics, humility, teamwork. On road games he was like a kid on his first camping trip. He liked a good practical joke and routinely had his trademark Linfield hat stolen after practice.
It’s an educational experience and kids can learn from it, so why not let them play?
Winning alone was never the goal; winning with class was.
“Ad’s from the old school of thought – the (Joe) Paterno school – he teaches values that go beyond the field,” says Randy Mueller, who quarterbacked the 1982 championship team. After graduating, Mueller, because of an injury, still had a year’s eligibility left when the National Football League Seattle Seahawks offered him an entry-level position. “Take it,” said Rutschman. “A thousand coaches would kill for that job. Now, at 32, Mueller is director of pro scouting for the organization.
“People are what counts for Ad Rutschman, says Ed Langsdorf, a 12-year Wildcat assistant who succeeded the man and promptly led Linfield to a 12-1 season and runner-up finish in the NAIA Division II playoffs last year.
Over the years, Rutschman was offered more than a dozen jobs and was even eyed by a number of NCAA Division I schools, including the University of Oregon, Washington, Michigan and California. Says Riley, “Had he decided to climb the ladder, I could see him as a Don James at Washington, had he gone the NFL route, a Chuck Noll (former Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach) or Don Shula (present Miami Dolphins’ head coach). But, Rutschman never seriously considered leaving Linfield. “I establish roots easily.”
That made for a good fit in McMinnville – population 17,891, which is no bump-and-run town. Linfield is one of the oldest colleges in the West, founded in 1858. Although nationally recognized for its academics, the college is hardly an elite sanctuary featuring a football factory. Instead, it’s the third smallest school in the Columbia Football Association. It’s a place where the assistant athletic director lines the football field, the dean of students (Dave Hansen) does radio play-by-play and the coach’s wife, a.k.a. Mama Cat – not only serves as her husband’s secretary as he continues to fulfill the role of men’s athletic director – but sells football tickets when the Wildcats play at Maxwell Field.
Joan is a major reason why Ad retired. For the last two years she had suffered from a respiratory infection and the best way for her to cut back was for Ad to cut back. "She has been an unbelievable help to me," says Rutschman. “It’s time for me to help her.”
Rutschman is quick to praise players, assistant coaches, fans and Linfield’s academic program for the Wildcats’ success. And he points out that he inherited a strong program. His predecessor, Paul Durham, began Linfield’s winning record streak in 1956 and pushed it to 12 years before leaving to become athletic director at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. But the only one who understands Ad Rutschman’s contributions to Linfield is Ad Rutschman.
“For Ad’s sake, I hope we carry on the win streak,” says Langsdorf. “My worst fear is that after he put his heart and soul into the school, we would allow his accomplishments to slip.”
That won’t happen – because Rutschman’s real accomplishments are now spread out across the world, raising families and remembering the lessons they were taught. Following his retirement, letters arrived from U.S. senators to a student manager, from game officials to opposing players. “Your legacy is not the many championships or countless wins,” wrote ex-player Gary Stautz, “but all the former players who are living productive and successful lives due to your extra efforts and caring.”
Not all Wildcat players have gone on to greatness. Among Rutschman’s few regrets is a freshman player who committed suicide in the spring of 1991. “To some degree we failed,” says Rutschman. “But, to some degree, I’m almost angry that we didn’t have four years to work with him.” Trey Dean ended his life after playing one season for Linfield.
On the other hand, Linfield alumni, many of whom played for Rutschman, have coached 63 station high school championship teams and 10 college national championship teams. His former players are now sitting in state legislatures, flying commercial jets, running companies, pastoring churches and volunteering overseas. From Rutschman’s 1982 national championship team alone, Steve Lopes is the business manager for the University of Southern California athletic department, Kent Bostick is a nuclear engineer for the State Department, Steve Boyea is a doctor in Utah and Winston, when blindsided by adversity, refused to do down, even though it means life in a wheelchair.
“Thinking of coach Rutschman’s pep talks still give me chills,” says the 33-year-old Winston. "Here I am paralyzed and yet I still feel like I did when I was so strong and as and playing for him. I’ve been winning since that 12-0 season, all because of that man.”
Two of the three submitted photos which appeared with the Argus article are posted here. The photo of Ad Rutschman wearing a white shirt and tie has the cutline, “Ad Rutschman was Mr. Football at Linfield College.” The photo of Ad Rutschman wearing glasses (wonder if this photo was from when he was coaching at Hillsboro High School?) has the cutline, “Ad Rutschman watched the action during a practice session.” Not shown here is a photo with this cutline, “Paul Durham (left) and Ad Rutschman get together at Rutschman’s retirement party.”